By Liz White, UT contributing editorMiddleton, UK-British Vita plc unit Tramico started construction of a new manufacturing facility at a greenfield site at Senec in Slovakia in late November. Tramico, Vita's French foam manufacturer, has invested Euro 6 million ($8 million) in what it describes as a state-of-the-art facility to make vehicle headliners. The 55 000-sq.m plant will use Tramico's patented Tramivex process to make the headliners. Production is scheduled to start in summer 2005, and be fully operational by early 2006, according to a Vita statement on the venture. "Tramico is a major player in the European automotive headliner market and is market leader in France, supplying Peugeot, Renault and Citroën," said Vita. Since 1982, the French unit has made headliners at Brionne in France and Sabadell in Spain using the Tramivex process. Vita commented that "constant refinement of the process has ensured that it is still one of the most effective in the world." The Slovakian unit is part of a programme of organic growth by foamer British Vita in Eastern Europe, said a Vita statement. With the expansion of the European Union, many automotive suppliers have opened production centres in Central and Eastern Europe, Vita said. British Vita is investing in plants such as the Tramico one "to ensure a continuous supply of its quality product to customers," said the firm's statement. The picture shows the architect's plans for Tramico's new Slovakian plant. "